6 dead as Philippine troops battle kidnappers

March 17, 2009 09:58

Officials say Philippine marines have clashed for a second day with al-Qaida-linked militants holding three Red Cross workers hostage, killing at least six combatants and wounding 19 troops. The fighting erupted Monday when Abu Sayyaf gunmen led by Albader Parad attempted to break out of a loose cordon set up by government forces to box in dozens of militants and their hostages in a hilly jungle near southern Jolo island's Indanan township. The military says Parad may have been wounded by marine snipers. There has been no word about the fate of the hostages. A military spokesman and the Jolo governor said fighting resumed Tuesday, leaving three militants and three marines dead and 19 troops wounded.

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